Life on loan is good for Mark Randall.

The talented midfielder is currently plying his trade at Championship side Burnley and finds himself embroiled in an exciting promotion push.

Randall joined the Clarets at the end of January and has so far made nine appearances, a majority of which have been from the bench. The youngster insists that while he keen for more of a starring role he is just happy to be developing as a player.

"It has started off well and I have settled in comfortably," he told "It is nice that all the lads made me feel welcome. Outside of football I have settled in too and I think it is a good place for me to be right now.

"I want to be forcing myself into the starting side regularly but if I am not there then that is up to me. I know I won't walk straight into the team so I must keep working hard in training and performing when I get my chance."

It is a positive outlook by Randall, who signed professional terms with the Gunners last summer. He admits that it was quite a shock when he first heard of Burnley's interest.

"We were training and I got called into Liam Brady's office," explains Randall. "He simply asked if I wanted a loan move because Burnley were interested in me. It is all quite a shock really. It is the first place they mentioned and the Club seemed happy with it so I was keen to give it a go.

"I think that at my age you need to go out on loan to get experience and play at a better level than that of the Reserve League. It prepares you better in the long run I think.

"I am surrounded by some really seasoned professionals up here, like Andy Cole and David Unsworth. It isn't that they teach me anything that I wouldn't learn at Arsenal but I think their approach, regardless of the task, is superb. They just get on with it.

"It's good for me to be working closely with players like that. Knowing what they have achieved in their careers, and some of them are at the end now, they remain as professional as they ever have been."

Football fans can be a tough bunch to please, especially if they think that a player is using their club as a stop-gap. That is certainly not the case for Randall. He is adamant that even though his heart is with Arsenal, his head is on the task at hand.

"The fans have been really good with me so far," he said. "They often ask me questions and want to see how I am feeling. Like at any club if you are doing well they love you but then if you are not they can get on your back. That can help me though because if they do get on my back I want to go on to prove them wrong.

"I will always see myself as an Arsenal player at Burnley, but I do feel really comfortable and welcome up here so I certainly feel part of it. I am enjoying the fight for promotion and happy to help.

"When I get back I want to get as close to the first-team as possible. If it means going on loan again though I don't mind but the Arsenal first-team is my ultimate goal."

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17 Mar 2008